Friday, 18 November 2011 2:00 AM
South Melbourne FC wishes to announce that it will host NSW Premier League Champions Sydney Olympic in an exhibition match on Sunday 11th December as part of the festivities to launch the refurbished Lakeside Stadium. This will be the first football match played at Lakeside since the renovations commenced in 2010.
South Melbourne FC and Sydney Olympic have shared a long history of derby matches in the old National Soccer League, and have also enjoyed many great matches at Lakeside Stadium. They first met at Lakeside on 4th February 1996 in a game that South triumphed 2-1 (with goals from Vaughan Coveny and Paul Trimboli) in front of a crowd of 10,127. Another memorable game was on Australia Day in 2000 when South defeated Olympic 2-0 with only nine men, thanks to a penalty from Steve Panopoulos and a goal from Andy Vlahos, as well as the heroics of goalkeeper Chris Jones. The last time Olympic played at Lakeside was in the final NSL season on the 10th December 2003, when they came from 3-0 down to trail 3-2 before Con Boutsianis hit a trademark free kick late in the match to give South a 4-2 victory.
Since the end of the National Soccer League, Sydney Olympic has been playing in the NSW Premier League. It endured many difficult seasons in the NSW Premier League – even risking relegation – but finally broke out in 2011, securing the Minor Premiership before defeating rivals Sydney United 2-0 in the Grand Final at Belmore Sports Ground earlier this month.
Fans are encouraged to arrive early on the 11th December to watch all junior levels of the Club playing in mini-matches across the Lakeside Stadium pitch and to take the opportunity to stroll around the stadium and observe the new facilities. The Senior Mens match between South Melbourne FC and Sydney Olympic will kick-off at 5.30pm.
Please note that entry on the day is free.
South Melbourne FC President Leo Athanasakis was delighted to officially announce the match, adding that “we are quite excited to host the NSW Premier League champions in what promises to be a great celebration. It will provide the opportunity for our fans to inspect the new facilities at Lakeside Stadium, and see the Club return back to its home. I encourage everyone to get to Lakeside Stadium early and enjoy the festivities”.
South Melbourne FC welcomes NSW Premier League Champions Sydney Olympic and invites all football supporters to come down to Lakeside Stadium on Sunday 11th December to be part of a new chapter in South’s history as the Club begins life at the refurbished facility.